“I am so very sorry. I wish I could take it back. I loved Amy and she is the only person who ever loved me.”
This is the note left by Shannon Lamb, the college professor, who killed his live-in girlfriend Amy Prentiss, fellow college professor Ethan Schmidt, and subsequently committed suicide.
His sister-in- law said after the fact, “Shannon was not a cold blooded killer. Something went bad wrong.”
You may also remember Brian Short, a successful businessman in Minnesota who killed his wife Karen and three children before turning the gun on himself or just over a year ago when Don Spirit, a convicted felon, residing in Bell, Florida, fatally shot his six grandchildren, his daughter and himself.
Evil is unexplainable, unsettling, unnerving and unpredictable.
Evil is self-motivated, self -actualized and self-generated.
It can happen anywhere, at any time to anyone.
It is no respecter of persons.
Despite heated objections to the contrary, the occupant of the White House does not determine the course of evil. Evil is not a liberal or conservative principle. Evil is an “all-inclusive,” ”equal opportunity,” personal decision. The evil that men do, lives after them and any good is oft interred with their bones and easily forgotten.
Naïve, innocent Adam and Eve did not fully appreciate or understand the forces they were unleashing when they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. From that day, it seems that evil has had the upper hand.
How many mass murders have we experienced since that horrible, fateful day Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold marched into Columbine High School and killed 13 people and wounded 24 others?
We have become so jaded by the scars of life that evil has become acceptable, commonplace and almost normal?
We have changed the vernacular that good becomes evil and bad means good.
We bestow celebrity status on “bad asses” like John Gotti, Al Capone, Vito Corleone, John Dillinger and Whitey Bolger -- anybody who thumbs his nose at society and does things his way.
For example, the autobiography of Errol Flynn, a best seller, was entitled My Wicked, Wicked Ways. It was a chronicle of the sexual exploits and misadventures of the notorious Hollywood reprobate.
Kindness, gentleness, good manners and those who follow the rules of decency and humanity have become out of date and old fashioned.
People are constantly angry, out of sorts, ill-tempered, shuffling along with permanent scowls on their faces.
Since iniquity abounds, the love and mercy of many have grown cold and distant.
Pastors and teachers are abandoning the pulpits and classrooms in droves.
We are fast burning out the people in charge of our brains and souls, leaving a rudderless society without a mind and without a heart.
Therefore, in many quarters, they are suggesting that they arm the teachers and the pastors.
Imagine, in the future, standard equipment in the purse of Mrs. Jones, the history teacher, will be “lipstick, compact, note pad, permission slips, blood pressure pills, aspirin for migraines, Maalox for ulcers and a 44-Magnum with armor-piercing bullets.”
How did we get here?
It was not supposed to be like this.
When God created the heavens, the earth and mankind, He declared everything to be good.
We are responsible and unless God comes soon, it is going to get worse.
Where will it strike next?
Women, especially children - the weaker elements of society - have to be concerned, careful and vigilant.
They are always the first victims of the fallout and are becoming fully conversant with Christ’s admonition, “A man’s enemies will be those of his own household.”
Most murders occur at the hands of a spouse, a relative or a close acquaintance.
Where is Starts
And the Lord said unto Satan, “from whence comest thou?” And Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro in the earth and from walking up and down it.” – Job 2:2
Left behind in his wake, millions of displaced persons (see present day Europe),widows, orphans, sexual abuse victims, fatherless homes, households dealing with AIDS, Ebola, poverty and famine.
That, my friends, is the principal reason for our problem. Satan is the architect of evil and he has no difficulty finding accomplices and apprentices for his nefarious deeds.
As long as he lives, as long as we exist in the earth, we will have to contend with him.
He will not tire.
He will not relent.
He will not quit until you and God decide it is time.
Until then, evil men will wax worse and worse. So we must become very familiar with the above horrors.
Even if you are saved and love Jesus intensely and passionately, you will encounter days like the following:
My tears have been my meat day and night while they continually say unto me, “Where is thy God?”
Why did I come into the world to suffer?
Why art thou cast down, oh! my soul?
I have cleansed my hand in vain.
I swore I will not speak (meaning Jehovah God) any more of his name.
We are persecuted on every side.
Alexander, the coppersmith, did me much evil.
Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world.
The ultimate goal is to discourage you so that you will give up.
He wants to shake the foundation of your life, rock your world and cause you to question all your beliefs and suspect all your assurances.
But remember, Satan’s goose is cooked, the fat lady has sung for him. It is Yogi Berra’s definition of “over” for him. Nevertheless , he wants to make sure that yours is also done, and land you in hell with him forever.
He cannot hurt God, so he wants to hurt the thing most precious to God—YOU.
The road ahead is not going to be easy and for many of us it will be hell on earth.
But, here is the good news. He would not be trying so hard if he did not realize and believe the rest of the story to be true.
Goodness, Success, Victory, Deliverance and Overcoming the odds are also self-motivated, self-actualized and self-generated.
Just ask the present U.S. presidential candidate, Dr. Ben Carson. God is good. God exists and God loves you.
He has prepared a place for you---a place of joy and goodness where Satan can never touch you again.
If you remain faithful, you will win that prize. If you persist, you will succeed in accomplishing that goal. Resist the devil. He will flee from you.
He knows that you and God make an unbeatable combination.
When he remembers and returns to attack you again, you will be safe in heaven, sheltered and secure in the bosom of Abraham- two days before he even knows you are dead and gone.
You have arrived at a watershed moment. It is time to man up. You have come too far and endured too much to let him take you out.
V. Knowles is a husband, father and prison minister with an interest in penning issues that serve to uplift mankind. He melds his love for Classic literature, The Bible and pop culture - as sordid as it may be - into highly relatable columns of truth, faith and justice. Hence the name: Just Thinking. If he's not buried in a book or penning his next column, you may find him pinned to his sectional watching a good old Country and Western flick.